Republicans Poised for Battle in Michigan Primary Voters in Iowa and New Hampshire have voiced their preferences in the presidential race. Now, voters in Michigan go to the polls on Tuesday in a contest that focuses on the Republicans. Tracy Samilton reports from member station WUOM in Ann Arbor.
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Republicans Poised for Battle in Michigan Primary

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Republicans Poised for Battle in Michigan Primary

Republicans Poised for Battle in Michigan Primary

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

Republican political eyes are on Michigan, which holds its primary on Tuesday. It's mostly a Republican event because the National Democratic Party stripped Michigan of its delegates for trying to hold its primary before Iowa and New Hampshire. The election is a chance for John McCain to build momentum and a possible last ditch effort for Mitt Romney.

Our political coverage begins with a report from Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton.

TRACY SAMILTON: Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the nation by far, so the economy is taking center stage at every campaign stop.

Here is Michigan native and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in Grand Rapids.

Mr. MITT ROMNEY (Former Republican Governor, Massachusetts; Presidential Candidate): I've watched with concern as I've seen Michigan go through a one-state recession. That's just not right.

Unidentified Woman: No.

Mr. ROMNEY: And we need to have somebody who cares very deeply about this thing, and I do.

SAMILTON: Michigan is close to a must-win state for Romney who finished second in Iowa and New Hampshire. Arizona Senator John McCain wants a Michigan victory to keep his momentum after the win in New Hampshire. Despite the high stakes, he's still telling it like it is.

Senator JOHN McCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Presidential Candidate): Some of the jobs that have left the state of Michigan are not coming back. They are not, and I'm sorry to tell you that. But I believe that we can develop a plan to take care of these workers who have lost their jobs. We cannot abandon them, my friends.

SAMILTON: Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has moved on to South Carolina after campaigning earnestly here. McCain and Romney will battle it out in Michigan through Monday.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is the only frontrunner on the ballot -another side effect of the controversy over the early primary date. Those who support Barack Obama or John Edwards will have to cast a vote for uncommitted.

For NPR News, I'm Tracy Samilton in Ann Arbor.

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